Offering Graduate Evaluation Degrees Online: Comparing Student Engagement in Two Canadian Programs

This Practice Note describes and explores the experiences and lessons learned engaging students in two online graduate evaluation programs offered in Canadian universities: the University of Victoria Graduate Certificate and Diploma in Evaluation Program, offered since 2010; and, Carleton University Graduate Diploma in Public Policy and Program Evaluation (DPPPE), offered online since 2016. Both programs are delivered to maximize the geographic accessibility of graduate evaluation education within and outside of Canada.
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Evaluation Capacity in the British Columbia Government: A Matter of Priorities

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Contribution Analysis: Theoretical and Practical Challenges and Prospects for Evaluators

Contribution analysis (CA) is a theory-based approach that has become widely used in recent years to conduct defensible evaluations of interventions for which determining attribution using existing methodologies can be problematic. This critical review of the literature explores contribution analysis in detail, discussing its methods, the evolution in its epistemological underpinnings to establishing causality, and some methodological challenges that are presented when CA is applied in practice.

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Professional Standards for Evaluators: The Development of an Action Plan for the Canadian Evaluation Society

The National Council of the Canadian Evaluation Society (CES) recognized a need to designate a professional status for the practice of evaluation for individuals who meet appropriate criteria. A consortium of experienced CES members developed an Action Plan with policy options based on (a) a literature review, (b) consultations with relevant professional organizations, (c) knowledge and experience brought by consortium members, and (d) the 2005 Survey of Evaluation Practice and Issues in Canada.

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The Lay of the Land: Evaluation Practice in Canada in 2009

A group of 12 evaluation practitioners and observers takes stock of the state of program evaluation in Canada. Each contributor provides a personal viewpoint, based on his or her own experience in the field. The selection of contributors constitutes a purposive sample aimed at providing depth of view and a variety of perspectives. Each presentation highlights one strength of program evaluation practiced in Canada, one weakness, one threat, and one opportunity.

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Will evaluation prosper in the future?

The main thesis of this article is that program evaluation and program evaluators have largely missed out on the movement, now into its second decade, to make performance measurement the centrepiece of public sector management and accountability. If these developments are not strategically faced by evaluators, program evaluation runs the risk of becoming less and less relevant to public sector and nonprofit organizations.

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Program evaluation in British Columbia in a time of transition

Program evaluation has undergone a major transformation in the British Columbia Government during the past five years. Although conventional program evaluations continue to be conducted in some ministries, the dominant trend is towards performance measurement. The recently passed Budget Transparency and Accountability Act mandates strategic and business planning, performance measurement and public reporting. Nine issues are identified in this article that need to be addressed if public performance reporting is to mature into sustained performance management in the BC government.

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The Impact of Radar Cameras on Traffic Speed: A Quasi-Experimental Evaluation

This article summarizes the findings from a summative quasi-experiment that examined the impacts of radar cameras on traffic speed in Vancouver. Two arterial streets were included in the evaluation. Knight Street was subjected to a two-month intervention wherein a radar camera was set up periodically and police officers recorded both the speed and licence numbers of vehicles photographed by the camera. Traffic tickets were then mailed to the registered owners of speeding vehicles. Granville Street served as the comparison street for the quasi-experiment.

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Program Evaluation and Contracting Out Government Services

This article suggests an important role for program evaluation skills in contracting out government services. Contracting out is being increasingly viewed as a practical and efficient alternative to governmental production of services. Key steps in the contracting out process offer opportunities to utilize program evaluation skills. Further, because contractors are held at arms length, program managers who monitor and evaluate contracts can do so without the conflict of interest problems arising when they are involved in evaluations of their own programs.

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